Broken Axel

Isn’t it refreshing to drive your car after you’ve just cleaned it or filled up the tank?

I think my car’s happiest when she’s got a full tank of gas and has just seen Alonzo (on 13th and Main) for a thorough detail.

Whether you’re a clean freak, a clean your car out once-in-a-whiler, a fill up at half tank or a driving on fumes kind of person (not recommended), Summer driving conditions can be harsh in the Grand Junction desert.

There is no better time to clean out your car and perform a quick and easy inspection than before we get into 100 Degree weather! (YUCK- but after Covid and Winter… Let’s Do it!!)

Along with keeping your car clean there are a few regular maintenance items you should consider performing when you run through the car wash or stop for gas.

Cleaning and maintaining your car will not only keep you safe but will slow the depreciation and help assure the best possible resale value.

Your family, your car, other drivers and your pockets will thank you! 

Here are some helpful spring cleaning car maintenance tips…


To safely keep you on the road, your tires NEED

  • The right amount of tire pressure and tread to prevent blowouts and flat tires

If your car doesn’t have an automatic tire pressure sensor

  • Be sure to keep a tire pressure gauge in your glove compartment and regularly check your tire pressure

If you’re not sure how many pounds of pressure your tires should have

  • Check inside the door panel of your vehicle for a label that shows the recommended PSI for your tires

Can’t find the label inside your door panel?

  • Check your users manual

To check the tread of your tires from home, we like using the penny trick

  • Place a penny head first into several tread grooves across the tire
  • If you always see the top of Lincoln’s head, your tires are bald and need replacing
  • If part of Lincoln’s head is always covered by the tread? You’re good-to-go!!!

Alignment and suspension 

All the proper tire maintenance in the world will do you little good if your alignment and suspension are out of whack. 

How do you know if you need an alignment? 

  • If you’ve noticed your car is pulling to one side, It likely needs an alignment
  • You can also check tires for uneven wear on one side

Do you hear knocking, clunking, or squeaking/squealing when you’re turning or going over bumps?

  • This could indicate a problem with your suspension.

Trouble with suspension can be heard and often felt while driving your car. 

Do you feel pop or clunk under your feet or in the steering when turning?

Don’t end up like this guy! 

For more information watch these videos: How to check your cars suspension or Suspension 101 (#ilovemyhonda!) or just bring your car in today! 

Wiper Blades 

Have you ever skipped out on checking your wiper blades this time of year when suddenly you have an unscheduled trip to Denver? It’s sunny when you leave Grand Junction but soon you find yourself rounding the corner on I-70 to Vail Pass and you’re in extreme winter weather driving conditions! Spring in the Rockies, AmIRight? You go to clear your front windshield and your wiper blades are warped, leaving a streak of slush and ice blocking your vision. It’s too late to exit at Silverthorne!!! Man have we been there! Just like tires, windshield wiper blades, in good condition, are essential for safe driving. Make sure you get those wipers replaced and handle that mountain pass like a true Coloradan! 

Need help replacing those blades? Stop in at our Horizon Drive location or check out this video for a quick tutorial from Allstate and The Humble Mechanic.

Under the Hood 

Check the fluids

  • Use anti-freeze windshield washer fluid and make sure it’s always topped off to aid in the times you do get sucked into some kinda crazy Colorado weather. 
  • Check your users manual to see if your manufacturer recommends a different viscosity in the summer months and always make sure you check your oil before leaving on a trip. A vehicle that is ‘burning’ oil can quickly lead to much bigger problems and leave you stranded in the Eastern Utah desert. Take it from us, that is not a place you want to be sitting on the side of the road in the heat of the day.
  • Gas expands and evaporates more quickly in the heat. Fill up first thing in the morning or late in the evening to make sure your tank really gets topped off.

Batteries love to die in extreme heat. Before you’re left stranded in the supermarket parking lot, kids in tow, on a hundred degree summer day check the battery connections for signs of corrosion; Make sure the connections fit tightly and that there are no cracks in the cables. The life of a battery is between 3 and 5 years. If you’re nearing that lifespan make sure your charge is between 12.6-12.8 volts. A charge even .10 less could indicate your battery’s on it’s way out.

When it comes to cleaning under the hood one question I’ve been asked before is, “Should I wash my engine while I’m washing my car?” In truth? It’s really not a great idea unless you really know what you’re doing. Especially on older vehicles where connections are more exposed. On newer vehicles? It needs to be done safely, avoiding things like the alternator, intake, or sensors with high-pressure water.

My recommendation, if you’re itching to wash under the hood, watch this Hood Inspiration Video

Take Away 

Living in Colorful Colorado can put drivers in a tricky spot or two. Making sure you clean & maintain your car will keep you and others safe, slow the depreciation, and assure a smooth ride through those mountain towns. Who doesn’t want that!?